The Nigerian Shippers Association has said that 68 per cent of Nigerian-bound cargoes worth N825bn have been trapped at different ports around the world due to the ongoing cash crunch in Nigeria.
A member of the Board of Trustees of NSA, Jonathan Nicol, in a telephone conversation with The PUNCH in Lagos on Monday, also said that many Nigerian importers cannot access foreign exchange from banks for clearing cargoes.
He said that most of the goods coming into the country were mostly those on special arrangements with their suppliers and were given a 90-day grace period.
“A lot of goods are held at different ports over that financial crunch. The exchange rate is high. Banks do not have foreign exchange to give. So, you have to go and raise money wherever you can to pay.
“Let me just say that about 68 per cent of goods that are supposed to have arrived in Nigeria are trapped. So, conservatively, let us put the value of that 68 per cent of trapped goods at N825bn worth of goods have been trapped in different ports around the world,” he asserted.
According to him, people only started opening FORM M recently, “Except you have a special arrangement with your supplier to be giving you 90 days deferred payment because most of the goods we are getting now fall under that category of getting 90 days free before you start paying”.
He explained that the concession applied importers who have had a long-standing relationship with their suppliers
He noted, “I know someone who has over 400 containers at different ports around the world but cannot ship them into Nigeria because there are no funds.
“So, most of the containers we are getting now either belong to the industries you know industries must have standing relationships with their suppliers so the supply will be given to them based on concession.”
According to him, for general cargoes like goods being shipped from the hinter market, the importers would have to make payment before the goods would be shipped.